This section last updated: 2022-07-26 (10 months ago)
Searching is the heart of the RELMA program. The following sections cover topics related to performing a search using the mapping screen.
To the right of each local word under the bold heading "# Hits" is a count of the number of times the given word appears in LOINC database records. For example, the figure below shows how many times each of the local search words glucose, tolerance, 3h and fasting were found in LOINC database records.
The number of times a local word is located in the LOINC database can vary greatly. It is also quite possible that one or more of your keywords does not exist in any LOINC record. Therefore, the frequency of any given search word could range from zero to several thousand occurrences.
The results of the database search appear at the bottom of the display screen. The data is presented in a table format with one row for each successful record match on the selected local words. By using the scroll bar on the right edge of the table you can scroll up and down through the data in the table. You may also scroll the table horizontally by using the scroll bar at the bottom of the table. For more information about the results grid, please refer to the Results Grid section of this document.
At the very bottom of the screen is a status bar, which contains additional information about the search being performed. In the rightmost panel is a message similar to "X records found in Y sec" where X is the number of records satisfying the search and Y is the number of seconds to complete the search. For more information about the status bar, please refer to the Status Bar section of this document.
In the figure above, only the checkbox next to glucose was checked, so the search was only performed using one keyword. In the example below, a database search was performed using both the local words glucose and fasting. Because two keywords have been selected, RELMA will only return records that contain both of the search words, i.e., both glucose and fasting must be included in the each of the terms returned in the search.
When the search is executed, the RELMA program examines the number of hits for glucose and fasting, selects the smaller of the two, and uses that keyword for the initial search. In the example below, a search on the word fasting will be performed first. Next, RELMA searches for the word glucose, but only within the records that were returned with the fasting search, which makes the search much more efficient. On slower machines, the search time usually noticeably decreases if search words with relatively small hit counts are included in the search.
In the rightmost panel of the status bar in the figure below it shows how many records were found. Note that this number is smaller than either of the hit numbers for the individual search terms, because the final result only includes those records that contain both key words. As a general rule, the more search words you include in a database search, the fewer records will be returned.
Below is a description of each of the acceptable methods of searching using partial search words along with how and when to use them.
The asterisk wildcard character is commonly used in searches where you know the first few characters or last few characters of the term you are searching for, and can be used to replace one or more characters. If you know the first few characters of the term, enter those characters into a Local Words text box followed by an asterisk and execute the search. Likewise, if you know the last few characters of the term, enter an asterisk followed by those characters and execute the search.
|Local Word||Test Description||Search Result|
|GLUC*||AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE||Match on GLUCOSIDASE|
|*ASE||AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE||Match on GLUCOSIDASE|
|G*ASE||AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE||Match on GLUCOSIDASE|
For example, if you are searching for the AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE test description, entering any of the Local Words listed in the table above would yield a match on GLUCOSIDASE and would display the test description you are looking for as one of the search results.
The question mark wild card character is commonly used in searches to replace only a single character. Simply enter the entire term to search for into the Local Words text box replacing the single unknown character with a question mark and execute the search.
|Local Word||Test Description||Search Result|
|GLUC?||AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE||No match|
|?LUCOSIDASE||AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE||Match on GLUCOSIDASE|
|G?UCOSIDASE||AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE||Match on GLUCOSIDASE|
For example, if you are searching for the AMYLO-1, 6-GLUCOSIDASE test description, the table above presents several examples of how the question mark wild card could be used and the results they would produce. The first Local Word would fail to match GLUCOSIDASE since there is more than one character following the "C" in GLUCOSIDASE. The other examples would yield a match on GLUCOSIDASE because of the single character replacement in the Local Word and would display the test description you are looking for as one of the search results.
To express a NOT condition, include a minus sign (-) in front of the word that should NOT be contained in the LOINC records of interest.
For example, if you wanted to find all LOINC terms containing SALMONELLA but not AB, enter SALMONELLA in the first Local Word text box and -AB in the second. The results of this search are shown in the figure above.
To express an OR condition, place the Local Words to be connected by a logical OR in the same Local Words text box with each word separated by " OR ".
You can have more than one OR condition per text box and per search. Searches for most combinations of logical conditions can be searched in this manner.
For example, if you wanted to find all LOINC terms containing SALMONELLA and either XXX or STOOL, enter SALMONELLA in the first Local Word text box and (XXX OR STOOL) in the second. The results of this search are shown in the figure above.